Sometimes, serendipity affirms an act of intuition.

Just ask two practicing Manhattan attorneys, married and living in Westchester County. Their two children left for college a few years back, so they began thinking about next steps. One was a weekend retreat on the water, maybe in Florida, North Carolina, or on a lake upstate.

During the pandemic they came across a listing for a lot in Hampton Bays, with house plans by architect Mojo Stumer. “We went to see it and stepped out on this piece of land overlooking the bay—and we just knew,” the wife says. “We made an offer, and bought the plans.”

“You can’t buy happiness
But you can buy dirt”

–Jordan Davis

That’s when serendipity kicked in. Before the day was over, they heard a song called “Buy Dirt” by country singer Jordan Davis. “It was a sign,” says interior designer Tami Wassong, founder of the Larchmont firm bearing her name.

The wife’s first call was to Wassong; they’d remained close since high school. “I’ve watched her career explode,” the wife says. “She’s one of the most talented designers I’ve ever seen—she has a beautiful eye for architecture, top to bottom.”

There’s a reason for that. Wassong graduated from Syracuse with a degree in environmental and interior design and a minor in architecture. She worked with Richard Meier & Partners on drawings and models for the Getty Center in Los Angeles. She later worked for Lauren Rottet there, then in New York for Kohn Pedersen Fox and Gerner, Kronick + Valcarcel. For 26 years now, she’s owned her interior design firm.

The second call the wife made was to John Nocera, a general contractor suggested by the former owner of the land. “He recommended us to them and said: ‘Give them a shot,’” Nocera says. “We took it on and it went very smoothly.”

Nocera, Wassong and their clients all hit it off immediately, along with architect Danny Tanzi. “She told me: ‘It comes with the house plans and the builder,’” Wassong says. “I met John and immediately saw the love affair they had with him.”

She handled all interiors once the shell of the home had been built as originally intended – with views over the pool to Wells Creek and out to Shinnecock Bay. “The way the house sits with maximum water and sunset views, it’s pretty much perfect,” Nocera says.

The builder raised the home 13 feet above grade since it’s in a flood plain, pounding 165 pilings deep into the soil and building a steel and concrete infrastructure above. High water now washes through the lower part of the building, without damage.

This was to be a year-round retreat for the clients, their family and friends, so the interiors were designed with durability in mind. The clients use it every weekend—even in January—and for Thanksgiving. “It’s a place to go to clear their minds and relax,” Wassong says.

The husband’s a cook who wanted a kitchen that overlooked the water, and was highly functional too. Cooking is an important part of their social life, which also means bringing in famous chefs-in-residence. So Wassong consulted with him extensively. “I had to provide space for all his things—he has an appliance for everything,” she says.

She worked with his wife on the rest of the six-bedroom home, with its primary suites on both floors, should the couple want first-floor living later. Together, they thought through scenarios like that, so future modifications won’t be needed.

Wassong designed floors in white oak and porcelain, and used travertine, marble and wood elsewhere. She designed the dining room table for six or 16, a live-edge walnut coffee table and an entry hall console. “In their primary bedroom, I designed a bed for them,” she says.

The color palette combines, white, ivory, soft grays and blues with layers of texture, all imbued with a minimalist feel. “You walk through the doors and go: ‘Ahhhhh!’ with a sigh of relief when you enter,” she says.

And the first thing you see?

Framed on the wall hang the lyrics to “Buy Dirt” by Jordan Davis – a reminder that dreams and serendipity sometimes work hand in glove.